So here’s the thing. Sometimes I just can’t seem to turn off my brain. It’s always racing, bouncing from one random thought to the next, making it impossible for me to totally relax.   

Oh, sure, I’ve tried various ways to relax and mentally shut down. I’ve tried yoga and tennis and pretending to listen to my wife. But still my mind darts around to other thoughts. Some people have speculated that I may suffer from A.D.D. and yet, I suddenly have a serious craving for pancakes. 

Once I even tried hypnotherapy, in an attempt to clear my mind. The hypnotherapist soothingly invited me to close my eyes and envision a cool, gentle breeze on a mild summer day. He said to imagine I was in a lush field of tall grass with yellow dandelions. And all I could think about was how I needed to mow my lawn and pull up weeds. While I was at it, I might as well prune the bushes and power wash the patio. There went my Saturday. I left the session totally stressed out. 

So, I decided to try massage. I’d be able to close my eyes and listen to soft music, maybe even some wind chimes, while a professional masseur melted all my aches and cares away. Sounded perfect. Well, things didn’t go quite as I had hoped. Here’s a recap of what went on in my mind as he worked on my back, arms, legs and hands for sixty minutes.

“Mmmm, this feels so good…. I hope he does my hands. I love when they work my fingers… Finger food. That’s an odd expression. What other kind of food would there be? Toe food? Sounds like tofu. What exactly is tofu, anyway? All I know is I won’t eat it….. Now I’m hungry. My stomach is so empty… Sure hope he doesn’t try to massage my stomach. That would tickle….. Reminds me of tickle the ivories. What an odd way of saying play the piano. I wish I had stuck with piano lessons when I was a kid. How did anyone decide a baby goat should be called a kid? And why do they say, ‘He got your goat?’ Are goats angry all the time? And why am I thinking about goats suddenly? Sure I’m hungry, but I don’t even like goat cheese. Just relax. Clear your mind, Tim. Ahh, that feels nice. Now he’s doing the length of my arm. Would that make this an arm’s length transaction? … which reminds me, I have to go to the bank and make a deposit so my checks don’t bounce. Oh, right. I need to pick up more Bounce dryer sheets. Hope the store’s not out of stock…. The stock market set another all-time high again today. Maybe we should sell. Make a note to call our broker… Broker. That’s how we’re going to be after four years of college costs for two kids. Jeez. Wish our youngest wasn’t going to college back east. Why couldn’t she go to a closer college, one out west? West… James West…. What was the name of that 1960’s western series anyway? And what was the name of his sidekick? It’s on the tip of my tongue. I saw a cow tongue in a deli once. Who in their right mind would eat a cow tongue? Holy cow! Now that’s an odd expression. Maybe that’s where Swiss cheese comes from… Ouch. That hurts. He’s doing my toes now. Are they supposed to bend that far? The Wild Wild West. That’s the name of that western series. Phew. That was starting to bug me….I’ve read that in some countries people actually consider bugs a delicacy. Who in their right mind would eat bugs? Probably the same people who eat cow tongue. Tim, you’re doing it again. Turn your brain off. Just take a deep breath…. “Take a breath?” That’s an odd expression. Where exactly would I take it? Ohhhh, he’s doing my back now. I love backrubs. Wonder if he’ll notice the scar from my back surgery for a broken disc… Brokeback Mountain. Never did see that movie. Will have to add it to my Netflix queue. And why do you add a movie to your queue but you play pool with a pool cue? … I wonder what it would be like to play pool in a pool. Add that to my bucket list. Bucket.  Ha! That rhymes with f-… ” 

It went on like this for what seemed forever, but when I looked up at the clock, only 15 minutes had gone by. By the end of the hour, my body felt totally refreshed. But my brain wanted to collapse from exhaustion. 

I’ll have to find another solution to help me turn off my brain. A friend suggested I find a relaxing hobby. “How about fishing?” he said. “It’s the most peaceful way to spend a day. All you do is sit in a boat, catch rays and drink beer for five hours.” Then he told me, “There’s nothing to do but put your pole in the water, kick back, relax and think.” Think? Uh oh. Maybe fishing isn’t such a good idea after all.   

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS:  If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a or sharing this post on Facebook… post… which reminds me I need to go to the post office before it closes. Hope I can find a parking space… which reminds me, I need to renew my parking permit sometime soon…. Sigh. 

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2013

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